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Full text of "Decimal system for the arrangement and administration of libraries"

lUNIVERsiT 






BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME 
FROM THE 

^^"'SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND 

THE GIFT OF 



Hcnrg M. Bagc 



1891 



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Cornell University Library 
Z696 .S56 
+ 
Decimal system for the arranoeme 



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3 1924 029 524 9i 




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Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924029524992 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 



A 



DECIMAL SYSTEM 



FOR THE 



ARRANGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 



OP 



LIBEARIE8. 



NATHANIEL B. SHUETLEFF. 

-Utprosk- 



BOSTON: 

PRIVATELY PRINTED. 

M DCCC LVl. 

I) 






M, 



-1 ' ( 



IX.-i^o^Zo \^ 



i OP 0E0> 0. BAND AND ATBttY, 

Frintors to Uio City. 



PREFACE. 



The following remarks on the subject of libraries are not writ- 
ten to present a new theory. They are intended only to be 
descriptive of a system which the writer has introduced into the 
Pubhc Library of the City of Boston, with the approbation of his 
co-laborers in the Board of Trustees, and which has been in 
practical operation there since the summer of 1852. 

The Trustees of the Library, from the estabhshment of the 
Board until the present time, having intrusted him with making 
"all arrangements and regulations needful for circulating the 
books and using the Hbrary," he has had the opportxmity of 
originating from the very commencement the arrangement and 
working machinery of a large Hbrary, which exhibits a fair 
promise of extending its usefulness in the most liberal manner 
for the benefit of a great community of readers. Having, in 
consequence, informed himself of the various modes of arrange- 
ment and management of the principal Hbraries, and having 
perceived in them what he considered many and great defects, 

he was led to perfect a library system which he had elsewhere 

(3) 



4 . PREFACE. 

introduced to a Kmited extent, and adapt it to the wants of a 
large public library. The result of the attempt may be learned 
from the following pages, and may be witnessed in successful 
operation in the Public Library above named. 

As chairman of various committees it fell to him to propose, 
not only the system of arrangement hereinafter described, and 
which he beheves to be new ; but the method of preparing the 
library for use, which, although some of its details may have been 
practised before, is original in its routine ; and also the general 
administration of the library, including the internal arrangements 
of the edifice, and the various operations for conducting the sev- 
eral departments, which also is prominent among the peculiari- 
ties of the library in Boston. 

Aiid, as the remarks are chiefly written to elucidate the sys- 
tem and furnish the necessary directions iu carrying it out where 
it has abeady been adopted, and not in making it extensively 
known, indulgence is asked for the concise manner, and perhaps 
too abrupt style, in which they are submitted. 

Boston, J%, 1856, 



THIS 

MEMOIR 

OF 

A DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES 

IS UESPECTFDMT INSCETBED TO 

JOSHUA BATES, ESQUIRE, OF LONDON, 

THE PBIEITD AND BENEPACIOB, 

WHO 

BT TIMELY AMI) MtTNITICENT ENDOWMENTS 

HAS ESTABLISHED ON A STTBE AND PEBMANENT BASIS 

THE PUBLIC LIBRABY 

OF THE 

CITY OF BOSTON, 

IN WHICH 
THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN 
DEVELOPED AND DEMONSTKATED. 



CONTENTS 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBRARIES. 

I. 

AeEANGEMENT of the LlBKAEY RoOM AND BOOKS. 

ALCOVES AND SHELVES, 10 — PLAN OF LIBEAHY HALL AND ALCOVES, 10- 
NUMBER OF ALCOVES TO BE MULTIPLES OF TEN, 10— TEN RANGES OF SHELVES 
IN EACH ALCOVE, 11 — TEN COMPARTMENTS, OR SHELVES, IN EACH RANGE, 11 

— COUNTER, OR CONSULTING SHELF, 11 — PLAN OF AN ALCOVE AND ITS TEN 
RANGES, 11 — PLAN OF THE ONE HUNDRED SHELVES OF AN ALCOVE, 12 — 
SHELVES IN HORIZONTAL LINES AND IMMOVABLE, 12 — SPACES FOR BOOKS 
GRADUATED TO DIFFERENT CAPACITIES, 12 — SPACE BELOW THE COUNTER 
CONSTRUCTED FOR THE ADMISSION OF EXTRA ROWS OF BOOKS, 12 — MODE OF 
CONSTRUCTING THE ADJUSTMENTS IN THE SPACE BELOW THE COUNTER, 13 — 
THE NINE SHELVES ABOVE THE COUNTER TO BE FIXED, 13 — APPORTIONMENT 
OF SPACES FOR BOOKS, 14 — MODE OF NUMBERING THE SHELVES, 14— NUM- 
BERS TO BE ON THE FRONT EDGE OF THE SHELVES, 16— A NUMBER INDICATES 
THE ALCOVE, RANGE AND SHELF, 16 — THE SAME UNIT ALWAYS ON THE SAME 
HORIZONTAL LINE, 17 ~ MODE OF NUMBERING BOOKS, 17— SHELF NUMBER, 17 
—BOOK NUMBER, 17— EXTRA COPIES TO BE EXPRESSED BY EXPONENTS, 17— IL- 
LUSTRATION OF THE MODE OF NUMBERING BOOKS, 18 —WOODEN SUBSTITUTE, 18 

— DISPOSITION OF WORKS WITH LARGE PLATES AND SMALL TEXT, 19 — CABI- 
NETS FOR LARGE VOLUMES OF PLATES, 19 — ACCOMMODATION FOR THE PRO- 
SPECTIVE INCREASE OF PERIODICALS, 20 ~ ARRANGEMENT OF BOOKS, 20 — 
ALCOVES TO BE ASSIGNED TO SUBJECTS, 20 — RANGES TO BE FOR SUBDIVISIONS, 
20— BOOKS TO BE ARRANGED ON THE SHELVES ACCORDING TO SIZE, 20 — CER- 
TAIN ALCOVES TO BE ARRANGED FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES, 21 — PLACE FOR 
FOLIOS, 21 — ADVANTAGES OF THE DECIMAL SYSTEM, 22 — ADVANTAGES OF 
FIXED SHELVES FOR THE DECIMAL SYSTEM, 23. 

(5) 



6 CONTENTS. 

II. 

Peepaeation of the Libeaet fob Use. 

STEPS IN TEE FBOCESS OF PREPARATION, 28 — LIBKAHIAN'S JOURNAL, 28 

— SLIPS, 28 — BOOKS TO BE ENTERED IN THE CATALOGUE OF ACCESSIONS", 28 

— GIFTS TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED, 28 — BOOKS TO BE COLLATED, 28 — IMPER- 
FECTION BOOK, 28 — BOOKS TO BE STAMPED, 28 — BOOK PLATE TO BE ATTACHED 
TO BOOKS, 28 — BOOKS TO BE CATALOGUED ON CARDS, 28 — ABBREVIATED 
RULES TO BE AFFIXED TO BOOKS, 28 — BOOKS TO BE NUMBERED, 29 — BOOKS 
TO BE ENTERED IN ALCOVE CATALOGUES, 29— BOOKS TO BE PLACED ON 
SHELVES, 29 — GIFTS TO BE ENTERED IN BOOK OF DONORS AND DONATIONS, 29 

— SLIP CATALOGUE, 29 — SLIP NUMBER, 29— CATALOGUE OF ACCESSIONS, 
30 — ACCESSION NUMBER, 31 — SIZE OF BOOKS, 31 — SIGNATURE MARKS, 36 — 
LIBRARIAN'S SCALE, 38 — CHECK BOOK FOR PERIODICALS, 39 — BOOK PLATE, 
iO — CARD CATALOGUE, 41 — FULL TITLE CARD, 43 — CARDS OF CROSS REFER- 
ENCES, 44 — ARRANGEMENT OF CARD CATALOGUES IN CASES, 45— FULL TITLES 
TO BE PRINTED IN ORDER OF ACCESSION, 45 — ILLUSTRATION OF THE MODE 
OF ARRANGING TITLES ON CARDS, i6 — ALCOVE CATALOGUE, i7 -SHORT 
TITLE CATALOGUE, 48 — FINDING CATALOGUE, 48 — INDEX CATALOGUE, 48 — 
INDEX CATALOGUE TO BE PRINTED, 60 — JPTT^Li TITLE CATALOGUE, ITS IM- 
PORTANCE AND CONSTRUCTION, 50 — INDEX OF DONORS AND DONATIONS, 
53 — TREATMENT OF PAMPHLETS, 54 — ARRANGEMENT IN CASES, AND BIND- 
ING OF PAMPHLETS, 51 — BOOKBINDING, 59 — BINDER'S SCHEDULE, 60 — LET- 
TERING OF BOOK TITLES, 61 — TREATMENT OF MAPS, CHARTS, PRINTS, NEWS- 
PAPERS AND PERIODICALS, 62. 

III. 

Admhtisteation of the Libeaey. 

SUCCESS DEPENDS UPON AN ADEQUATE AND UNIFORM SYSTEM, G3 — LIBRARY 
BUILDING, 64 — PRECAUTIONS AGAINST DAMPNESS AND FIRE, 64 — CELLAR 
TO CONTAIN HEATING APPARATUS, WORK AND STORE ROOMS, APARTMENTS 
FOR BOOKBINDER AND JANITOR, &a, 65— BASEMENT STORY TO CONTAIN 
HALLS FOR DELIVERY OF BOOKS, FOR CONVERSATION, AND FOR BOOKS OF 
CURRENT CIRCULATION, READING ROOMS AND LIBRARIAN'S ROOM, 66 — 
ROOMS FOR STUDENTS, UNBOUND PAMPHLETS, NEWSPAPERS, AND WORK 



CONTENTS. 7 

BOOMS FOR LIBRARIAN, Sec, 66 — PRINCIPAL STORY, 66 — LARGfE LIBRARY 
HALL, 66 — ALCOVES TO BE CONNECTED WITH EACH OTHER, AND NOT ACCES- 
SIBLE TO THE PUBLIC, 67 — SHELVES FIXED AND ARRANGED DECIMALLY, 67 — 
GALLERIES, 67 — STAIRCASE, 67— BUILDING LIGHTED BY IMMOVABLE BURNERS, 
67 — VENTILATION ESSENTIAL, 67 — OF TSE LIBRARY IN GENERAL, 68— FREE 
LIBRARY TO BE OPEN TO GREATEST NUMBER POSSIBLE, AND TO CONTAIN MANY 
EXTRA COPIES OF BOOKS, 68 — DISTRICT LIBRARIES, 68 — SALE DUPLICATES, 69 — 
BOOKSASKEDFOB, 69— BOOKS ORDERED, 69 — SIGNATURE BOOK, 70 — DIRECTO- 
RY OF THOSE USING THE LIBRARY, 70— MINORS' CERTIFICATES, 71 — DEPOSIT 
OF MONEY, 71 — STRANGERS' BOOK, 72 — BOOKS TO BE CALLED FOR BY THEIR 
NUMBER, 72 — RED CARD FOR READING ROOM, 73 — WHITE CARD FOR BORROW- 
ERS, 73 — BOOKS OBTAINED ONLY BY THE CARDS, 73 — BOOKS NOT TO BE RE- 
MOVED FROM SHELVES EXCEPT BY THE OFFICERS OF THE LIBRARY, 74 — RULES 
AND REGULATIONS TO BE ADOPTED AND PROMULGATED, 74 — DIRECTORS TO 
KEEP RECORDS, FILES OF PAPERS AND COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE, 74 — 
LIBRARY TO BE CLOSED FOR EXAMINATION, &c., 75 — ANNUAL VISITATION BY 
COMMITTEE, 75 — LIBRARIAN'S REPORT, 75 — FULL TITLE CATALOGUE OF BOOKS 
ADDED TO BE APPENDED TO REPORT, 75 — Oi^ THS READING ROOM, 75 — 
ARRANGEMENT OF MAGAZINES, &o., 76 —READING ROOM NUMBER, 76— MANNER 
OF OBTAINING PRIVILEGES OF THE READING ROOM, 76 — USE OF THE READ- 
ING ROOM CARD, 76— BOOKS NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM THE ROOM, 76 — 
ALPHABETICAL LIST TO BE ACCESSIBLE, 17 -'OF THE CIRCULATING DEPART- 
MENT, 77 — TO WHOM PRIVILEGES SHOULD BE GRANTED, 77 — MANNER OF 
OBTAINING BOOKS FOR HOME USE, 77 — WHITE OR BORROWING CARD, 77 — 
HOW EXTRA COPIES ARE TO BE ASKED FOR, 78 — NUMBER OF VOLUMES AND 
DURATION OF LOAN TO BE LIMITED, 78 — INJURIES AND LOSSES TO BE MADE 
GOOD, 78 — DESCRIPTION OF LOAN BOOK ON THE DECIMAL PLAN, 78 — 
CHARGES TO BE MADE IN PENCIL, 79— LOAN BOOKS FOR DIFFERENT PARTS 
OF THE ALPHABET, 79 — LOAN BOOK TO BE EXAMINED FOR DEFICIENCIES, 79 
— DEAD ACCOUNTS IN LOAN BOOKS, 80 — OF THE LIBRARY OF REFERENCE, 
80 — WHERE BOOKS OF REFERENCE SHOULD BE KEPT AND HOW DISTIN- 
GUISHED, 80 — SPECIAL ROOMS AND PRIVILEGES FOR SCHOLARS, 80. 



DECIMAL SYSTEM 



FOE THE 



ARRANGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OE LIBRARIES. 



IN the administration of large public libraries nothing 
is more important than a lucid arrangement of the 
books and other appurtenances on some determinate 
plan, which, while it is capable of preserving a judicious 
classification of them according to their subjects, never- 
theless admits of their being easily accessible to proper 
persons, and of being found with the least possible con- 
sumption of time and labor, charged and delivered to 
borrowers or readers with the greatest promptitude and 
despatch, and at the same time presents them to the 
eye in the most orderly, neat and agreeable manner. 

In order to secure the attainment of the above ob- 
jects the library system must be comprehensive, posi- 
tive, intelligible and immutable. For this purpose a 
Decimal System has been devised, and a description 
of it printed in the following brief memoir, for private 
distribution among those persons who have an interest 

in the subject. 
2 



10 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 



Perspicuity requires that tlie subject should be 
treated of in three distinct parts : — by describing, first, 
the arrangement of the library room and books ; second, 
the preparation of the books aiid other appurtenances 
of the library for use ; and third, the manner of admin- 
istering the circulating and reference departments of the 
library when used. 



Arrangement of the Library Eoom and Books, 



1. Alcoves and Shelves. 



A very important part of the Decimal System of 
managing libraries consists in the arrangement of the 
books, by placing them upon shelves so constructed and 
disposed that the number of alcoves shall be multiples 
of ten ; in other words, there should be 10, 20, 30, 40, 
50, 60, &c., alcoves in the library hall, as represented 
by the following diagram : 



FiaUBE 1. 



1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


9 


10 


n 


12 


13 


14 


15 


16 


17 


18 


19 


20 



LIBKART HALL AND ALCOTES. 



ARKANGEMBNTS. 



11 



Each of the alcoves should be subdivided by means 
of perpendicular partitions, so as to contain exactly ten 
ranges of shelves ; and each range should contain ex- 
actly ten compartments or shelves. One of these com- 
partments, to carry out the system well, should be 
situated below a wide shelf or counter, which, while it 
supplies a proper and convenient place for the exami- 
nation and consultation of books, also affords ample 
accommodation for the larger folio volumes. The re- 
maining nine shelves should occupy the space above 
the counter. Figure 2 gives an outline of an alcove 
and its ten ranges of shelves ; and figures 3 and 4 show 
the division of the ten ranges into the appropriate num- 
ber of shelves and their numbering. 




EianBi: 2. 



PLAN OP AN ALCOVE AND ITS 
TEN KANGES. 



12 



DECIMAL SYSTEM EOB LIBRAKIES. 



Viama i. 



(11) (12-) (13) (14) (16) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) 


119 


129 


139 


149 


159 


169 


179 


189 


199 


209 


118 


128 


138 


148 


158 


168 


178 


188 


198 


208 


117 


127 


137 


147 


157 


167 


177 


187 


197 


207 


116 


126 


136 


146 


156 


166 


176 


186 


196 


206 


115 


125 


135 


146 


156 


166 


176 


185 


196 


205 


114 


124 


134 


144 


164 


164 


174 


184 


194 


204 


113 


123 


133 


143 


153 


163 


173 


183 


193 


203 


112 


122 


132 


142 


152 


162 


172 


182 


192 


202 


111 


121 


131 


141 


151 


161 


171 


181 


191 


201 


110 


120 


130 


140 


160 


160 


170 


180 


190 


200 



PLAN OP THE 100 SHELVES OT AN ALCOTE. 



As the most important feature in this system — not 
for appearance only, but for actual assistance in the 
administration of the library — is that the shelves in 
the alcoves should be in perfectly horizontal lines, for 
reasons which will be mentioned hereafter, the nine 
shelves above the counter (or consulting shelf) should 
be immovably fixed at different distances apart, with 
the spaces for books graduated to different capacities. 
For important reasons the space below the counter 
should be so constructed as to admit, if required, of 
one or two extra rows of books, of any size that may be 
placed in it. The space last mentioned thus becomes 
the principal flexible part of the system of shelving ; 
and, when well managed, will be found to possess great 
capabilities and conveniences. 



AKEANGBMENTS. 13 

The least objectionable mode of constructing the 
adjustments for the spaces below the counter, for the 
accommodation of extra rows of books, and which is an 
improvement for this particular purpose on the old 
mode of ratchets, and which is capable of the very 
nicest adjustment without waste of space, injury to the 
sides of books, and also without deranging the appear- 
ance of the alcoves, consists in having two perpendicular 
grooves, one inch in width, made in each standard. 
These grooves do not interfere in the slightest degree 
with the books, and can serve for the insertion of the 
tongues at the ends of shelves, when extra rows of books 
are needed in the spaces. The tongues at the ends of 
the shelves are supported in place by means of upright 
pieces of wood of sufficient strength to sustain the 
necessary weight. The accompanying figures, represent- 
ing a horizontal section of a standard and the tongues 
of a shelf, will present the idea more clearly than any 
written description. 

"" " FigmiB e. 



GROOVED STANDARD. TONQITBS OV A SHELF. 

The nine shelves above the counter should be fixed, 
and should be placed at such distances from each other, 
or, in other words, should be so graduated as to accom- 



14 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBRARIES, 

modate small folios or large quartos on the counter, 
duodecimos on the uppermost shelf, and other books 
of various sizes on the seven intermediate shelves. 

In apportioning the spaces between the shelves, the 
following proportions will be found to be very nearly 
what is necessary, when the whole height of the space 
given between the floor and ceiling of the room or gal- 
lery is about twelve feet. In this case 13 inches in the 
clear should be allowed for the first space above the 
counter, Hi for the second, 11 for the third, lOJ for 
the fourth, 10 for the fifth, 91 for the sixth and seventh, 
9 for the eighth, and 8i for the ninth or upper space. 
The remaining part of the twelve feet, which is about 
forty inches, is for the space below the counter. The 
shelves are supposed to be from three quarters of an 
inch to an inch in thickness. 

The distances laid down above, have been calculated 
after examining and measuring many large collections 
of books, both in public and private libraries; never- 
theless in small libraries of specialities, the spaces 
should undoubtedly vary from the above mentioned, 
and the shelving should be constructed to meet indi- 
vidual cases. 

2. Mode of Nvmbering the Shelves. 

The compartment below the counter, intended for 
the very large volumes, should, as in figures 3 and 4, 
whether containing one or more rows of books, be num- 



ARKANGEMBNTS. 15 

bered 110 in the first range, 120 in tlie second range, 
130 in the third range, and so on to the last range in 
the alcove, where it should be numbered 200. In the 
other alcoves the similar portions should bear the same 
numbers increased by 100 for the second alcove, 200 for 
the third alcove, and 300 for the fourth alcove. 

The first 109 numbers, it will be noticed, are not 
used. These may be employed or not. But the num- 
bering is- much better, as will be perceived, when they 
are omitted altogether, or are used only for shelves not 
included in any alcove. 

The shelf formed by the counter, being the first 
upon which books are placed above the counter space, 
should in the first alcove be numbered 111 in the first 
range, 121 in the second range, 131 in the third, and so 
on. The shelf next above should be 112 in the first 
range, 122 in the second range, and 132 in the third, 
and so on to the upper shelf, which should be 119 in the 
first range, 129 in the second, and 139 in the third 
range. In this manner the shelves of the first range 
of the first alcove will be numbered 110, 111, 112, 113, 
114, 115, 116, 117, 118 and 119 ; of the second range, 
120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128 and 129, and 
so on for the other ranges. 

By examining figure 3 it will be noticed that there 
is an apparent exception to the rule. This is easily 
provided for in the following manner : When occupies 
the place of tens, it denotes that the range is the tenth 
of the alcove ; and 1 must be deducted from the figure 



16 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBRAEHS. 

in the place of hundreds, in order to denote correctly the 
number of the alcove. Thus, for instance, if a book is 
on shelf JN^o. 208, it will be found on the 8th shelf of the 
10th range, and (deducting 1 from the 2 in the place of 
hundreds) of the 1st alcove.* 

Each shelf should be numbered on its front edge, 
and each range in the cornice immediately over it with 
the number of tens of shelves. Thus in the first alcove 
the first range should be numbered 11, the second range 
12, the third 13, and so on. 

If the alcoves are numbered by prominent Arabic 
figures, the numbering of the shelves will be complete. 

By the mode of shelving and numbering just de- 
scribed, any shelf may be found with the greatest ease 
and expedition, the unit figure always indicating the 
position of the shelf from the counter, the number of 
tens indicating the range, and the number of hundreds 
the alcove. When occupies the place of units, the 
hundreds and tens denote the alcove and range, and the 
that the space is below the counter : thus, shelf 365 
is the fifth shelf above the counter, in the sixth range, 
in the third alcove. ' 

* Another expedient for avoiding In small reference libraries, ■where 

the occurrence of the figure 2 in the the book number is not so much needed, 

place of hundreds ia the first alcove, the 208th shelf of the first alcove might 

would be, to write the number of the be numbered so as to give a distinct 

tenth or last range of the alcove thus, number and a separate line each to the 

JOS instead of 208 ; but this would be hundreds, tens and units of the alcove, 

carrying the matter to a greater nicety range and shelf numbers. The num- 

than is necessary. bering will then appear thus : ^\, 



ARRANGEMENTS. 17 

It will be observed that the same unit is always on 
the same horizontal line. This one feature of the deci- 
mal system more than any other facilitates the speedy 
finding of the shelves, and for this reason is most de- 
sirable of preservation. Consequently, any thing that in 
the least degree impairs the integrity of the horizontal 
line is an impediment to the well working of the system 
which should not be allowed. 

3. Mode of Numhering the Books. 

Every volume of every book on each shelf should 
bear the shelf number upon its back. In addition to 
this number, each individual book (not volume) should 
have another number, which should be placed on each 
volume of the book, in order to designate its true posi- 
tion on its shelf. The book number should commence 
with 1 at the left, and continue to the right, all of the 
rows of books in the space under the counter, if more 
than one row should be required, being considered in 
one range as one shelf. Thus "^ signifies the first book 
on the 111th shelf, ""^ the second, ^^^ the third, and so on 
with all the books on the shelf. 

Duplicates, triplicates, &c., should be expressed by 
alphabetical exponents. Thus "\ Vm \V, \V, designate 
four extra copies of book 1 on the 111th shelf. 

The mode of numbering is shown in the following 
figure, which represents a shelf of books, numbered to 
meet several emergencies : — a, a, a, f, the ordinary way 
3 



18 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBBARIES. 



of numbering books by the decimal system ; h, 5, h, du- 
plicates of a, a, a; c, a, wooden substitute to show that 
a large volume of plates belonging to the work may be 
found in the space below the counter, where it occupies 
the first place; d, another wooden substitute, showing 
that a duplicate copy of "^ may be found as the 3d 
book on the 142d shelf; e, a volume that has been intro- 
duced among the books for some special reason ; / a 
book which has been added to those already placed upon 
the shelf. 



riGUKE 7. 



a 


■ a 


b ' 


b ' 


C 

110 
1 


d ' 

142 
3 


e 


a 


b 


/ 


VOL. 
1 


VOL. 

2 


VOL. 
1 


VOL. 

2 














111 
1 


111 
1 


111 

la 


HI 

laj 


111 
1 


111 


111 

a2 1 


111 
2 


111 

2a 


111 

3 



NUMBERING ON BACKS OS BOOKS. 



There are certain cases that occur with every system 
or mode of arrangement which require practical con- 
trivances. Some of these cases have given much trouble 
in the old systems, and are so easily provided for in the 
decimal system, that it will not be irrelevant to mention 
them in this connection. These give occasion for the use 
of an imitation book, made of wood, which, for want of 
a better name, may be called a substitute. 



ARRANGEMENTS. 19 

It is not an uncommon occurrence that an octavo set of 
volumes may have accompanying them one or more folio 
volumes of plates, which cannot be folded and bound to 
correspond in size with the text. Such, for instance, is 
the case of Audubon's large work on the birds of Amer- 
ica. In such cases, the volumes of text should be placed 
on the shelves where they individually belong among 
the quartos or octavos, as the case may be; and the 
folio volumes of plates should be placed in the appro- 
priate compartment for folios, in the same range, or in a. 
particular cabinet constructed for the purpose, note to 
that effect having been made in the first volume of the 
set. But to carry this whole matter to a nicety, and 
anticipate any trouble or doubt that might arise, in the 
absence of the volume in which the place of the plates 
is noted, one of the wooden book substitutes should be 
put with the volumes of text, and be numbered as 
though it was the actual volume or volumes of plates, at 
the bottom of the back, and also should bear higher up 
on its back another numbering, which will point out 
the actual place where the plates may be found. For an 
illustration, see c, figure 7. 

It may happen that a new and unexpected volume 
may be added to a set, and that the new book is too 
large to occupy a place on the same shelf with its fel- 
lows, or that no place can be made for it with them. 
The same contrivance will indicate at what near place 
the new book, or books, if there be more than one, can 
be found. 



20 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

A case which presents itself in very strong relief is 
that wherein periodicals are concerned. Boom must be 
left for the accommodation of prospective increase. 
This is easily done by the decimal system; and, if there 
is an objection to empty shelves, the reserved spaces 
can be filled with a portion of the least called for dupli- 
cates, reference being made to them by means of the 
wooden substitute. See d, figure 7. 

Indeed, no case will probably occur, where this sys- 
tem, if properly carried out, will not provide relief, — 
perfect, easy, and in every sense unobjectionable and 
strictly orderly. 

4. Arrangement of Books. 

It is not intended, in these limited remarks, to lay 
down any system for the classification of libraries. In- 
deed, the individual purposes of libraries are so various, 
that an attempt to supply a system for all cases would 
surely end in a failure. But whatever classification may 
be adopted for a library, before arranging the books upon 
their shelves, the alcoves should first be assigned, as far 
as practicable, to subjects; a certain number, for in- 
stance, to history, some to theology, and others to the 
different departments ; and certain ranges of each should 
be for the various subdivisions of these general subjects. 
The shelves above the counter should be used first, 
and the books, according to subjects, should be placed 
on the shelves they fit the best, taking care, when the 



ARRANGEMENTS. 21 

different volumes of a set vary in height, to take the 
highest of the set as a standard. Place the books that 
remain after filling the permanent shelves, whether they 
are folios, quartos or octavos, below the counter, and, 
when required, put in and adjust for them the movable 
shelves, for which preparation has been made in the 
compartment below the counter. If a tall volume of 
plates or maps accompanies a set of volumes, and it 
cannot be reduced to proper size without injury, put it 
in the most convenient place in the same alcove, and in 
the same range, even among the folios, if necessary, and 
mark its reference in the first volume, and use the wooden 
substitute, as suggested in the earlier portion of these 
remarks. 

When it is understood that a certain alcove or part 
of the library is to be appropriated for the disposition 
of documents, or periodicals, or encyclopaedias, or the 
transactions of learned societies, and other volumes with 
similar characteristics, which have a great evenness in 
their size, the shelves of such part can be arranged 
specially for their accommodation, care being taken to 
preserve nine shelves above the counter, and commencing 
to measure off the shelves from the top, so that the 
lowermost of the nine shelves shall take all that is 
left, which will generally give sufficient room for quartos 
or small folios next to the counter shelf. 

In no case, in the principal halls of the library, should 
folios be placed in more than one row above the counter, 
and that on the first shelf over the counter : 1. Because, 



22 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

in a library shelved as contemplated in these remarks, 
there will be more room for them in their true places 
than they need ; 2. Because a disposition of more than 
one row would seriously interfere with the system; 
3. Because they are too bulky and heavy to be handled 
in any other position by the attendants ; 4. Because the 
shelves cannot, without great loss of space to the alcove, 
be made wide enough for them ; 5. Because, if they are 
so placed, the increase in the width of the shelves would 
consume much more material in their construction, cost 
more, and leave the compartment below the counter 
with an undesirable waste of space and material; and 
lastly, because of the very bad architectural effects that 
would be produced. The want of shelving space under 
counters has compelled many librarians to commit this 
breach of order and good taste. 

5. Advantages of the Decimal System. 

The Decimal System in the arrangement of libraries 
can meet any emergency, and, when judiciously carried 
out, can overcome the usual diificulties which are con- 
stantly occurring in libraries conducted on other plans. 
The only exceptions are, that it does not admit of the 
many irregularities into which negligent librarians are 
very apt to fall, and also prevents many of the common 
inconveniences of libraries. So clear and comprehensive 
is it, that a novice can learn the use of it with a few; 
minutes' instruction, and, when learned, can accomplish 



ARRANGEMENTS. 23 

very much more work with it, and with greater ease and 
in less time, than with any of the usual modes of man- 
aging large libraries. On this account, it is peculiarly 
adapted to large public libraries, whose books have an 
extensive circulation. 

In many of the libraries of Europe, books are asked 
for on one day, and obtained on the next. No such 
delay as this is required where the decimal system is 
employed. 

When a library is shelved and otherwise arranged as 
indicated by this system, so sure and positive will be the 
position of the books, that any person who has had a 
few minutes' instruction as to the arrangement can sit 
in his own house, and, by simply referring to a catalogue, 
know the exact place of any and every book in the 
library. It would be preposterous to say that this could 
be done with any other plan of arrangement now in use ; 
nor is there any that can do it, even in the very library 
room with the books. 

For small libraries, of very limited circulation, this 
system is not urged, though even in such it would be 
found of great utility. 

6. Advantages of Fixed Shelves for the Decimal System. 

A great end attained by the fixed shelves above the 
counter is, the firm, regular and architectural appear- 
ance of the library. The large books are placed near at 
hand, where they should be, and the smaller ones are 



24 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

in more elevated positions ; and in cases where there 
may be good reason for it, as in the alcoves of light 
reading, the small books, which in this department are 
very frequently asked for, can be placed below a counter, 
and the otherwise waste room behind them occupied by 
duplicates of the books on the same shelves — a great 
help in the administration of the circulating department 
of a library. All the books can be placed where they 
should be, and where they would not be if movable 
shelves were in use, unless the persons employed in their 
arrangement should happen to possess an uncommon 
degree of precision, patience, ingenuity, and good nature. 
The best classified arrangement can thus be strictly 
carried out, without violating good taste, convenience of 
access, harmony of appearance, and architectural rules. 

Every requisite that movable shelves have will be 
found to exist with those above described, and several 
of the objectionable features of movable shelves are 
avoided, namely, the loss of room by the space taken 
up by the ratchets, and which uses up the room of fifty 
volumes in each alcove of one hundred shelves. 

With fixed shelves, the sides of the end books in each 
space are not subjected to the rough teeth of the ratchets 
of the movable shelves, which cause considerable injury 
to the volumes unless the work is performed in a very 
nice and careful manner ; nor do the books have ratchets 
to get behind. These two defects, caused by the ratchets 
of the movable shelves, are such great annoyances to 
librarians, that very many modes have been devised for 



ARRANGEMENTS. 25 

their avoidance, the only successful one being the sub- 
stitution of wooden blocks for the end books, which 
occupy more room than the ratchets. 

Some librarians, chiefly from a defect in their system, 
after a while wish to disturb the arrangement of their 
books by placing newly acquired volumes among the 
old. This may or may not be judicious where books are 
numbered only by their shelves, as is the case in very 
many libraries, and not each book by itself, as in all 
libraries where many books are delivered daily to bor- 
rowers. When this is done to any extent in large circu- 
lating libraries, it rarely compensates for the changes 
necessary to be made to the alcove catalogues, card 
catalogues, and interleaved catalogues, and the general 
destruction, as to usefulness, of the printed catalogues 
distributed among the people at large. Such, however, 
is the elasticity of the decimal system of arrangement 
of books on fixed shelves, that moderate changes can 
be made more easily than by any other system. For 
instance, when duplicates are disposed of, by sale, 
exchange, or otherwise, and other books are put in their 
places, they take the shelf number of the book removed, 
and are placed at the right hand of the shelf, and have 
the proper book number next in course after the last 
numbered volume on the shelf. If, however, the book 
must take any other position on a shelf, then it should 
be placed where desired, and the number of the book it 
precedes given to it, placing before its number a coeffi- 
cient letter, which will distinguish it from a duplicate, 



26 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

and indicate its precise position upon the shelf. Thus, 
"2 is the mark for the book added, whereas a duplicate 
of "^ would be marked ".\ See e, figure 7. 

If, in the course of years, a change of books seems to 
become necessary, the change can be made on the per- 
manent shelves much better than on the movable ones. 
For the changing of one movable shelf in a range almost 
always makes necessary the change of many, if not all, 
of the shelves in the range ; and all of the books have 
to be taken from them when they are moved. 

If — which is rarely the case — it becomes necessary 
to place a large book with smaller ones, and consequently 
change the shelf, it is much easier to do the work with 
the permanent shelves than twice as much with 
movable ; for to change the movable shelves, the books 
must be moved from many shelves, and many shelves 
must be moved. JN"ow, a similar change can be made 
when the fixed shelves are used, by simply transferring 
the books of only one shelf to another, without the 
necessity of disturbing other books, or other shelves ; or, 
what is much better, by putting the book where its size 
would indicate that it should be put, and using the 
wooden substitute in its place. 

In private libraries of small extent, where the books 
are collected with a view to some speciality, movable 
shelves may be of some use ; although it must be said, 
that shelves are very seldom moved in small private 
libraries, and perhaps less so in large ones, when they 
are once well adjusted. 



PREPARATIONS. 27 

In an extensive library hall, where every alcove will 
show its shelves, especially those above the counter, 
great architectural beauty and symmetry will be pre- 
served, if the nine shelves above the counter exhibit an 
unbroken front of horizontal and parallel lines, which 
they can and must do with the fixed shelves of the deci- 
mal system, and that without preventing the most judi- 
cious classified arrangement of the books according to 
their subjects, and with a great saving of room, if not 
of expense. The space below the counter can, and un- 
doubtedly will, present the same orderly appearance; 
for the ability of having a movable shelf in this space 
does not imply a necessity for it, it being only a prudent 
expedient for an emergency. This beauty and symmetry 
will accommodate more books, at a less expense of 
shelving, than will the system of movable shelves. 



II, 

Preparation op the Library for Use. 

However well a library may be arranged, the books 
and other property appertaining to it must be properly 
prepared for use before it can be administered in a satis- 
factory manner. 



28 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOB LIBRARIES. 

No book, however important it may be for circula- 
tion or valuable for reference, should be placed upon a 
shelf for use, until it has been through the regular 
processes of preparation. 

All books, whether added to the library by purchase 
or received by donation, should be treated in the follow- 
ing manner: — 

1. As soon as received, each book, or package of 
books or pamphlets, should be marked with the date of 
purchase or gift, and also from whence received ; and a 
memorandum of these particulars should be made in a 
journal kept by the librarian. 

2. The title of each book, in as few words as possible^ 
should be written on a small, square slip of paper ; and 
each individual accession should be alphabetically ar- 
ranged, by authors if known, otherwise by siubjects, and 
that of each day by itself. 

3. All purchased books, and donations that have 
been accepted, should be successively entered in the cat- 
alogue of accessions ; have their receipt properly acknowl- 
edged, when gifts ; be thoroughly collated, and all their 
imperfections noted in a book kept for the purpose. 

4. All books, whether purchases or gifts, when found 
perfect, should be stamped with the title of the library ; 
have a suitable book-plate attached to each of them ; be 
catalogued with their full titles on cards, with ail needful 
cross references; be covered with suitable paper, if 
necessary; have the abbreviated rules of the library 
affixed to them, on the outside of covered books, and on 



PREPARATIONS. 29 

the inside of tTie cover, opposite to the last page of 
uncovered books ; be numbered on the back, and also on 
the title page; be entered numerically in the alcove cata- 
logues, and alphabetically in the short title catalogues, 
with their numbering ; and finally be placed upon their 
respective shelves. 

All gifts should, at convenient times, l^e entered in a 
book prepared as an index to donations, and which 
should refer to the pages of the catalogue of accessions. 

Some of the above-named processes of preparation 
require particular notice, and will consequently be sep- 
arately and concisely described under distinct heads. 

'8l%f Catalogue. 

The advantages of this catalogue are very numerous, 
and will repay in many ways the value of the time 
expended in making it. The most convenient form and 
size for the slips is an exact square of about four inches 
to a side. In using the slips, one of them should bear 
the date and source of the receipt of the books, and an 
arbitrary number. This number should be put on all 
the slips appertaining to a particular date and individ- 
ual receipt ; and there should be as many numbers to a 
date as there are receipts from different sources. This 
number should be known as the slip number, and should 
not be copied into any of the catalogues, or be put upon 
the books or book labels, its pnly use being to keep the 
several accessions by themselves, and thus prevent the 



30 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

confusion which might occur should the slips by any 
accident be disturbed. 

The slips of each particular accession should be kept 
together, and the accessions of each day should, in as 
many packages as there are sources of accession, be also 
preserved together until the titles are entered in the 
accession catalogue, when the slip number may be en- 
tirely disregarded, and the slips arranged alphabetically 
or otherwise for other purposes. A convenient mode is 
to string together the slips of a day, with a piece of 
colored paper between each source of accession, and then 
to tie them together between pieces of pasteboard. 

The slip catalogue should contain the titles in the 
briefest manner that will intelligibly describe the books, 
omitting sizes, dates and places of publication, &c. 

Catalogue of Accessions. 

This catalogue is intended to preserve the history of 
all additions to the library, and should therefore be kept 
with great care, and should never be neglected in the 
slightest degree. The book in which it is written should 
be ruled and paged for the purpose, and should have 
printed heads for the following particulars: 1. When 
received ; 2. Number ; 3. Title ; 4. Where printed ; 
5. Date ; 6. Number of volumes ; 7. Size ; 8. Number 
of pages j 9. Condition; 10. Whence received ; 11. Cost; 
12. Check-marks — acknowledged, stamped, catalogued 
and indexed ; 13. Class. 



PREPARATIONS. 31 

Most of the heads are sufficiently indicative of the 
particulars they are designed for, a few only requiring 
explanation. 

In the second column, lettered number, should be placed 
figures from one up to the highest that the number of 
lines in the book will contain, and these should be con- 
tinued on numerically in succeeding volumes of the 
accession catalogue. This number, called the accession 
number, is of the greatest importance, and is always- 
attached to every book, pamphlet, map and appurtenance 
of the library. It should always be placed upon the 
book-plate, the title page, and upon the alcove and card 
catalogues, and will thus serve as the key to the history 
to each individual book, &c., belonging to the library. 
The importance of the accession number will be seen in 
the following illustration of one of its uses : If a book 
is missing from the shelves, the alcove catalogue will at 
once show its title, and if this catalogue has the acces- 
sion ■ number, it will direct to the place in the catalogue 
of accessions where the whole library history of the book 
may be found; otherwise the same direction may be 
obtained from the card catalogue. 

As to size, the nearest approximate result should be 
used in the seventh column. 

In assigning intelligible distinctions to the different 
sizes of books, librarians have experienced much diffi- 
culty, several causes conspiring to produce uncertainty. 
A very general rule has been to designate books as 
broadsides, folios, quartos, octavos, duodecimos, decimo- 



32 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR nBRAEIES. 



sextos, octodecimos, &e., according to the number of 
leaves in a printed sheet when folded for binding. 
These divisions are modified by prefixing to each of them 
the names of the various sizes of sheets of laid (or hand- 
made) paper, such as imperial, super-royal, royal, medi- 
um, demy, crown, copy, post, foolscap and pot. 

These sizes, which were positive when hand-made 
paper only was used, were sufficiently intelligible and 
distinctive for ordinary library use. The following table, 
prepared with much care by an eminent English typog- 
rapher in 1824, will exhibit in inches the various sizes 
of books produced on several of the sheets most com- 
monly employed in printing before the use of machine- 
made paper: — 





Broadside. Folio. 


QuartOi 


8to. 


12mo. 16mo. 18mo. 


Imperial, , 


. 30 X21^ 21^X15 


15 Xll 


11 X7i 


10 X5^ 7^X5^ 7fX5 


Eoyal, . . , 


. 24^X19f 19fX12^ 


12iX H 


9|X6i 


8 XH 6^X5 6fX4^ 


Medium, . 


. 22^X18^ ISJ^Xlli 


iijx H 


9iX5f 


7-|X4| 5iX^ 6iX3f 


Demy, , . . 


, 22 X17| 17JX11 


11 X 9 


9 X5i 


7fX41 5iXii 6 X5f 


Crown, . . . 


, 20^X16^ 16^X10 


10 X 8^ 


8^X5 


6iX4 5 X4 5§X3f 


Post, 


18fX15i 15|.X 9| 


9tX 7-1 


7|X4f 


6iX3|. 43X3f 5 XSl 


Foolscap, . 


. 16|X13i 13iX 8| 


8|X 6| 


6|X4i 


5lX3i 4^X3f 4|X2| 


Pot, 


15fX12f 12JX 7|. 


7|X 6| 


6fX3J 


HX3^ SlXSi 4iX2i 



It should be borne in mind that post, foolscap and 
pot were chiefly used for folios; medium, demy and 
crown for quartos, octavos, duodecimos, and frequently 
for octodecimos; whereas, for sixteens and eighteens, 
generally, royal, and an unusual size called long royal, 
were preferred by most printers. 



PEEPAKATIONS, 33 

At the present day, when paper made by machinery 
is almost entirely used, which varies in size according to 
the diversified sizes of printing presses, these before- 
named distinctions fail of their positive character, and 
cannot be used with reference to modern printed books. 
Considerable ingenuity has been displayed by certain 
learned and much esteemed bibliogi:apher8, who have 
recommended the use of inches and decimals of inches 
for the puqDose of measuring the printed matter of 
pages : but this mode does not carry with it a sufficient 
degree of comparison for the mind to form correct con- 
ceptions as to the size of bound volumes, owing to 
the great diversity of marginal spaces used in printing, 
which varies much with individual taste and caprice; 
nor does it give any idea of the amount of printed 
matter on a page, unless the size of type is also given, 
and which, if given, would require too much knowledge 
to be of general practical value. 

It has generally been believed that by counting the 
number of leaves in a signature or fold of a book that 
the size of the book could be determined. Little or no 
dependence can be placed in this procedure, not only for 
reasons above expressed, but because the signatures do 
not designate the number of leaves in a folded sheet. 
The same sheet, owing to the diversified modes of fold- 
ing sheets for binding, will answer for printing one fold 
(or lift) for a folio ; one or two folds for a quarto, octavo 
or duodecimo ; two or four folds for a decimo-sexto ; and 
three for an octodecimo. Printers who have a* proper 
5 



34: DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

regard for strength and beauty of bookbinding, always 
impose their pages for eighteens so as to fold into three 
lifts containing twelve pages each, and consequently give 
three signatures to each sheet. The same signature 
marks were often used for books of different sizes : for 
instance, octavos and decimo-sextos sometimes have a 
signature mark for, every eight pages, and sometimes for 
every sixteen ; and twelves, eighteens and twenty-fours 
for every twelve pages, there being two signature marks 
on every sheet for twelves, three for eighteens, and four 
for twenty-fours, because sheets are cut by bookbinders 
into two, three or four folds (or lifts) for books of these 
sizes. 

All books are printed, in typographical language, 
either sheetwise or half-sheetwise. When they are 
printed half-sheetwise, an impression is taken first on 
one side of the paper, and then the sheets are turned, 
and the other side is worked off from the same types. 
In this case a sheet of paper gives two copies of the 
same pages. When books are printed sheetwise, two 
sets of pages are prepared, one for each side of the 
sheets of paper ; and after an impression is given to one 
side of the sheet from one set of pages, the second side 
is printed from the other set of pages. In consequence 
of these different modes of performing the press work, 
books may have one or two signature marks to a sheet. 
In England it is more common than in the United States 
to print sheetwise, and consequently a quarto sheet has 
eight pages to a signature, and an octavo sheet sixteen 



PREPARATIONS. 35 

pages, unless a sheet lias two signature marks. Twelves 
and sixteens are most frequently printed half-sheetwise, 
and eighteens almost always sheetwise ; the first of these 
because twenty-four and thirty-two pages would be too 
many for a fold, and the latter because they could not 
be well worked half-sheetwise unless four of the pages 
were to be transposed for the second side of the paper. 
Consequently, twelves and sixteens generally bear one 
signature mark, while eighteens have three of twelve 
pages each. 

Many printers avoid imposing their pages in forms 
of twelve and sixteen pages, because with most presses, 
in working, the ink-roller would have to move from one 
side of a page to the other, and not from the top to the 
bottom, by which means the types would not be so well 
and so evenly inked, nor the work so well performed. 
For this reason, twelves are generally worked as eigh- 
teens on larger paper, and consequently, as eighteens 
and twelves have the same number of pages to a fold, 
bibliographers never know the difference. 

Oftentimes, also, octavos are worked as twelves, and 
twelves as octavos, now that paper can be cut to any 
determinate size, and since printers have studied more 
closely to save press work. This is very often the case 
with books printed from stereotype plates, which fre- 
quently have two sets of signature marks, one with 
Arabic figures for one form of book, and another with 
capital letters for another form. The same remark 
applies equally well to all sizes of books. 



36 



DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBEABIES. 



The following table exhibits the signature marks of 
the different forms of books from broadsides to eighteens 
when worked sheetwise and half-sheetwise : — 





1st sheet. 


2d sheet. 


3d sheet. 


4th sheet. 


5th sheet 


Broadside sheet, . 




3 


5 


7 


9 


Folio sheet, . . . 




5 


9 


13 


It 


Quarto sheet, . . 




9 


17 


25 


33 


Octavo sheet, . . 




17 


33 


49 


65 


« half sheet, 




9 


17 


25 


33 


12mo sheet, . . . 




25 


49 


73 


97 


« half sheet, 




13 


25 


37 


49 


16mo sheet, . . ■* 


. 17 


33 

49 


65 
81 


97 
113 


129 
145 


« half sheet. 




17 


33 


49 


65 


18mo sheet, 
and half sheet. 


13 
. 25 


37 
49 
61 


73 

85 
97 


109 
121 
133 


145 
157 
169 



As a guide to the person who folds the sheets, those 
signatures which have insets have the signature mark 
repeated, together with an asterisk. Formerly the first, 
third, fifth, and sometimes seventh pages of each fold 
had signature marks. 

It is very common for antiquarians to designate 
certain small books, among those printed many years 
ago, as "puritan quartos," and "puritan octavos." 
These, as well as folios, were printed chiefly on paper of 
the sizes denominated foolscap and pot, and during the 
early days of printing in New England, were the distin- 
guishing feature of American typography, principally 



PKBPARATIONS. 37 

because they required small fonts of type, small sheets 
of paper, and small printing presses. 

Perhaps the safest rule for determining the size of 
books will be that which takes a medium sheet of 
paper measuring 24 by 20 inches., such as is now used 
by printers, for the height and breadth, and the follow- 
ing ten names for the sizes, the measure of each of which 
is given below in inches : — 

1. Broadside, ....... 24 by 20. 

2. Folio, *......... 20 by 12. 

3. Large Quarto, two sizes, imperial and royal. 

4. Quarto, ........ 12 by 10. 

5. Large Octavo, two sizes, imperial and royal. 

6. Octavo, 10 by 6. 

7. Duodecimo, ...... 8 by 5. 

8. Decimo-sexto, .... 6 by 5; on sq. royal 7i by 41. 

9. Octodecimo, ..... 61 by 4. 

10. Small, any size less than eighteens. 

It must be noticed that the above dimensions are for 
the paper of uncut copies only. 

The broadsides and folios, when not on medium 
paper, may be distinguished from other books of the 
same name, by being denominated imperial, royal, 
crown, cap, &c. 

The large quartos and octavos printed on imperial 
and royal sheets may also be distinguished in the same 
manner if deemed necessary. 



38 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

Sixteens printed on square-royal, and puritan quartos 
printed on foolscap and pot, having peculiar shapes, 
should always be particularized. 

All books smaller than eighteens may be included in 
the tenth class, except in a few extraordinary cases. 

All books having excessive margins, or belonging to 
the class usually designated as "large paper copies," 
should have their peculiarities noted. 

An instrument of the form of a common Gunter's 
scale, two feet in length, graduated on one edge to 
inches and decimals, on the other to the capacity of the 
spaces between the shelves, and in the middle portion 
to the height of books, and numbered and lettered 
accordingly, will be found very useful for determining 
the size of books, and for other purposes, if its place is 
always at hand on the librarian's table. The other side 
of the instrument may have the French measure of 
length and other scales that may be deemed useful in 
connection with libraries. 

The nuTThber of pages should be written in the eighth 
column when it is less than one hundred pages ; other- 
wise it may be omitted. 

The ninth column should contain the exact condition 
of the books when received ; namely, whether they are 
in paper, boards or cloth, or whether they are half- 
bound or full-bound ; in the last case the kind of bind- 
ing should be stated, as, whether in calf, sheep, morocco, 
&c., and whether or not the edges of the books are gilded. 
Unbound pamphlets, whether in bundles or otherwise. 



PKEPARATIONS. 39 

reqiiire no note as to their condition, but those that are 
bound should be treated as books. 

The source whence received, of every book, whatever 
it may be, should be noted in the tenth column, leaving 
the eleventh column, in which the exact cost of each book 
should be placed, to distinguish gifts from purchases. 

When books have been severally acknowledged, 
stamped, catalogued and indexed, a check mark should be 
made under each of the heads in the twelfth column. 

The thirteenth column should contain the class of 
the book ; whether it is for reference only, or whether its 
use is restricted by the donor, &c. In the case of libra- 
ries of circulation, whenever this column is blank, it 
should be understood that the book is for general, unre- 
stricted use. 

Check Book for Periodicals. 

In every well-regulated library there should be a 
proper book expressly prepared for keeping a correct 
account of the current periodicals, as they are received 
from day to day. 

The book should be distinctly ruled and cross ruled, 
and should have printed heads for the following partic- 
ulars, namely : one column for the title of the periodical, 
one for its number on the reading room table, one for the 
source whence it is obtained, and twelve for the months 
of the year. 

The titles of the periodicals should be alphabetically 
arranged in the first column, with the reading room 



40 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOB lilBKAEIES. 

number in the second, and the name of the supplying 
agent in the third. 

As each quarterly and monthly is received, a short 
check mark (/) should be placed in the appropriate col- 
umn of months. When the periodical is a weekly, a 
similar mark should be placed in one of the four corners 
of the month space ; and when five weekly numbers are 
received during a month, another mark should be placed 
in the centre of the space. Daily publications should 
be checked once a week, and their deficiencies, — which 
should not if possible be allowed to exist longer than 
the shortest reasonable time, — noted in the book for 
imperfections. 

The diagonal check mark, as above shown, should be 
used, so that when the numbers are collected for the 
purpose of being bound into volumeSj, a cross check 
mark (x) may indicate the fact, and also whether or not 
any are missing. 

When each volume of a periodical ia completed, it 
should be entered in the catalogue of accessions, and 
receive the number which happens to be next in order. 

Book Plate. 

Every library should have suitable book plates for 
its volumes. These should bear the corporate seal of 
the institution, or some other device whereby they may 
be recognized at once, and readily distinguished from all 
others. All the platea of a library should also bear a 



PREPARATIONS. 41 

strong resemblance to eacli other ; indeed, there should 
be no difference in them, excepting in the words which 
designate whether the books to which the plates are 
attached are gifts or purchases- Prominent upon each 
plate should be the title of the library, and upon such 
as are placed in gifts should be the name of the donor. 
Each should also have a place for the date of reception, 
and another for the accession number. 

Books obtained by purchase are considered as 
"added," while those by gift are "received." 

The accession number should invariably be placed 
between parentheses, in the right hand corner, on the 
lower edge of the plate. 

Card Catalogue. 

A catalogue of books, carefully prepared on a uniform 
system, with the titles in full, and having a sufl&cient 
number of cross references to afford needful information 
to persons seeking for works on all subjects, and by all 
authors, is of primary importance to a library, whatever 
may be its objects or magnitude ; and no catalogue is 
more universally adapted to provide for the internal 
wants of a library than that which, being prepared in 
manuscript on cards, is generally known by librarians 
as a 'Card catalogue. This differs very essentially from 
the slip catalogue, by being of a more permanent char- 
acter, and more extensive in its details, and by being 
the key to the whole library. 
6 



42 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBKARIES. 

The following description of a catalogue, of accept- 
able form, together with a few brief rules for its 
construction, is not intended to be sufficiently explicit 
for all cases, but is given only in order to present a 
very general idea of the prominent characteristics of a 
proper card catalogue. 

The cards which are most suitable for this purpose 
are constructed of two thicknesses only of writing paper, 
so that while they possess a sufficient degree of firm- 
ness for use, they may also be easily handled, and packed 
away economically. To be of convenient size and shape, 
the cards should measure about six and three quarter 
inches by four and one quarter inches. 

In writing the cards, the greatest precision, exact- 
ness and uniformity should be observed; and, after a 
good system has been adopted, nothing must be allowed 
to interfere with it that will in any degree disturb it, as 
any disturbance in the system will be liable to produce 
more or less confusion in the use of the catalogue. 

The titles of all books, and every edition of them, 
when there are more than one, should be entered in full 
on separate cards, nothing that appears on the title pages 
that is descriptive of the volumes being omitted. This, 
however, should not prevent the rejection of unmeaning 
quotations, mottos, scriptural texts, and authors' titles, 
although even these, in a limited and judicious manner, 
should be preserved on the cards. 

Each book should have its title written in full on 
one card, and as many concise entries of cross references 



PREPARATIONS. 43 

should be made on other cards as are needful for the 
formation of a competent index catalogue. The cards 
of cross reference should invariably refer to the card with 
the full title. 

The upper line of every card should contain the 
systematic classification of the book which the card is 
intended to give the title of, a jioun being used for the 
class, and adjectives for its divisions, thus : General 
History, American History, English History, indicate 
that the book belongs to the class History, and to the 
several departments indicated by the adjectives General, 
American and English. Secondary headings on the 
same line, in brackets, distinguish more minute sub- 
divisions. On the extremity of the same line, near the 
right hand edge of the card, should be placed the figures 
of the shelf and book numbers, which indicate the 
position of the book in the library. 

On the full title card, the name of the author, when 
known, should occupy the second line, otherwise the first 
important word that occurs in the title. The surname 
should precede the praenomen, or given name, which last 
should be in parentheses, thus : Grahame, (James.) 

Next in order should be entered the full title of the 
book, repeating in its proper place the author's name, 
and using dots • • • when unimportant words are 
omitted, and stars * * * when mottoes or quota- 
tions are discarded. 

Immediately after the title should follow in succes- 
sion the number of volumes, the place of publication or 



44 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBKAKIBS. 

where printed, the date given in the imprint, the size, 
and the number of pages, if less than one hundred. 

The accession number should be placed between 
parentheses, in the last written line on the card, near 
the right hand margin. 

All explanatory words, and whatever else is inserted 
or supplied by the person who prepares the catalogue,, 
should be invariably included in brackets. 

The cards of cross references should be as numerouS^ 
as needful, and however briefly worded, should contain 
the classification, and also the shelf and book number^,, 
on the upper line. They should always, refer to the card 
which has the full title. If the accession number 
should be entered upon these cards, it would be of great 
assistance in collecting together all the cards appertain- 
ing to any volume when such procedure is necessary. 

In the case of books printed from plates, the copy- 
right date should be given, as well as that on the title 
page, and it should be placed between brackets for 
reasons above stated. 

Librarians, in preparing the Card catalogue, will find 
it extremely convenient for reference^ if they put two 
marks (=) under the first letter of the word in the title 
page under which the long title is catalogued, and one 
mark (— ) under the first word of each of the cross 
references ; and also, when all of the entries are made, 
a line under the date of publication at the bottom of 
the page. When this has been done, a simple examina- 
tion of the title pages will disclose how many and what 



PKEPARATIONS. 45 

references ta each: and every book have been made in 
the card catalogue. 

The card catalogue should be kept in suitable cases, 
either in the form of boxes or trays, and the cards 
should be arranged strictly in alphabetical order. At 
least once in each month all new cards should be put in 
their appropriate places. When there is danger that 
the cards will be disarranged, they may be kept in place 
by strings passed through punched holes near their 
lower edge and securely tied. 

Whenever an index catalogue is printed from the 
cards, all of the cross references that have been used 
should be displaced from the cases, and be laid away lor 
future use if needed, leaving the full titles arranged in 
the cases as before. 

Every library that can afford it should have the full 
titles of its books stereotyped in the order of the acces- 
sion number,, with this number affixed ; and a proper 
number of copies of the same should be printed annu- 
ally. The pages should be properly numbered, and at 
suitable periods, when there is a sufficient quantity of 
pages for a volume, a new one should be commenced ; 
but in no case should the numerical order be departed 
from, except in the case of duplicates, when it would be 
useless to repeat the title, and when the first accession 
number should be placed in brackets in the short title 
(or index) catalogue. A printed full title catalogue of 
this description is intended for reference only, and to all 
intents is a reproduction and multiplication of the card 



46 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

catalogue. Its use will more fully appear in the remarks 
which are to follow. 

The following example illustrates the mode of ar- 
ranging the full title cards, and the simplest cases of 
cross references : — 

American HISTORY. (United States.) 12 7 
Grahame, (James.) 

The History of the United States of North America, from 
the Plantation of the British Colonies till their Assump- 
tion of National Independence. By James Grahame, 
LL.D. In two volumes, second edition, enlarged and 
amended. [Edited, with a Memoir of the author, by 
Hon. Josiah Quincy, LL.D,, &c.] Philadelphia, 1850. 
[Copyright, 1845.] 8". (478) 

American HISTORY. (United States.) 12 7 
United States of North America. 

History of, by James Grahame. Two volumes. Philadel- 
phia, 1850. 8°. (478) 

Individual BIOGRAPHY. 12 7 

QuiNCT, (JOSIAH.) 

Memoir of James Grahame. (Prefixed to Grahame's 
History of the United States. Philadelphia, 1850. 8°, 
pp. V. — xxviii.) (478) 

Individual BIOGRAPHY. 12 7 
Grahame, (James.) 

Memoir of, by Josiah Quincy. (Prefixed to Grahame's 

History of the United States.) (478) 



PKEPAKATIONS. 47 

The same book may also have cards of cross refer- 
ence under the words "History," "America," "British 
Colonies," and "National Independence; " but these, if 
not desirable for some special reason, should be omitted 
on account of their making the catalogue unnecessarily 
cumbersome. 

Alcove Catalogue. 

This catalogue derives importance on account of its 
being an inventory of the books arranged in the order 
of their position on the shelves, and for this reason is 
most generally known in libraries where it is used as 
the shelf catalogue. 

It should be contained in exactly as many books as 
there are alcoves in the library, a book belonging to and 
being kept in each alcove; whence its name. These 
books should be of foolscap size, should be ruled and 
cross ruled for the purpose, and should be bound quire- 
wise ; and each of them should contain twice as many 
pages for entries as there are shelves in an alcove, 
namely, two hundred pages ; and the entries should be 
invariably made on the right hand page, leaving the left 
hand page for memorandums, references, the entry of 
duplicates, &c. 

The entries in the alcove catalogue, commencing on 
the left hand side of the page, should be made in the 
following order: 1. Shelf Number; 2. Book Number; 
3. Title, in as few words as possible ; 4. Number of vol- 
umes ; 5. Accession Number, in parentheses. 



■is DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE MBRAEIBS. 

For this catalogue tlie back titles of the books are 
the best ; and these may be contracted, provided enough 
of each is retained to be sufficiently descriptive. No 
title should occupy more than one line. 

The following line will sufficiently illustrate the mod^ 
of making the entries : — 

12 7 Grahame, (J.,) Hist. United States, 2 Yols. (478) 

The titles must be entered in the order in which the 
books are numbered ; consequently, in the first alcove all 
of the books on the one hundred and tenth shelf will 
appear first in numerical order, next those on the one 
hundred and eleventh shelf, then those on the one hun- 
dred and twelfth, one hundred mid thirteenth, &c., 
shelves. 

This catalogue is the telltale of the library, for by it 
will be known whether the books are all in their place; 
and if any are missing it tells their titles j and the 
accession number refers to the catalogue of accessions 
where their cost and history may be ascertained with 
certainty. When the annual examinations of the library 
are made, it is brought into especial requisition, and its 
importance realized. 

Short TUle (Catalogue. 

Under the above name, or that of finding catalogue^ 
or of index catalogue, should be constructed, and printed 
as often as convenient after important additions have 



PREPARATIONS. 49 

been made to libraries, an alphabetical index of all the 
books upon the shelves. 

In all instances the titles should be as condensed as 
possible, consonant with a sufficiently clear description 
of the books. 

Every book should be indexed under the name of the 
author, editor, &c., and should have as many entries in 
the index as there are important words in its title. 

The entries should be accompanied with the acces- 
sion number in parentheses, and also with the shelf and 
book numbers. 

In no instance, except where it is necessary to give 
the contents of volumes, such as books of plays, ro- 
mances, &c., should an entry occupy more than one line 
in the printed index. 

The index should be arranged in the following 
manner : 1. The title, by author and subject ; 2. Num- 
ber of volumes ; 3. Accession number in parentheses ; 
4. Shelf number ; 5. Book number. For example : — 

Graiame, (J.,) Hist, of United States. 2 Vols. (478) 12 7 
United States, Hist, of, by J. Grahame. 2 Vols. (478) 12 7 

Books not adapted for circulation, such as encyclo- 
paBdias, dictionaries, and those specially needed for 
reference, and such as on account of their rarity, value 
or terms of gift are withheld from general use, should 
be indicated in the index by the prefix of a star before 
the title. A star should always be affixed to the shelf 
number on the back of the restricted book. 
7 



50 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

By pursuing the above plan, only one alphabetical 
index is required, embracing authors and subjects ; the 
accession number will refer at once to the accession cat- 
alogue for the history of the book, to the card catalogue 
for the full title of the book, and such bibliographical 
remarks as may have been deemed worthy of special 
notice, and to the full title catalogue of the library if 
any such ever be printed. 

A proper number of copies of the index catalogue 
should be interleaved for library use, in which there 
should be alphabetically entered every day the titles of 
the books placed upon the shelves that day. After 
having reserved a suitable number for contingencies, 
the remaining copies of the index should be sold at the 
lowest price at which they can be afforded. 

When once an index catalogue of this description 
has been printed, and the interleaved copies have been 
kept properly posted with the additions, the labor of 
publishing a new index will be found to be of very little 
account; and the users of a library can be promptly 
supplied with a convenient, satisfactory, condensed and 
cheap means of knowing the contents of the library, and 
the whereabouts of the books. 

Full Title Catalogue. 

Of all the catalogues of this class that ingenuity 
has devised, none seems more feasible than that alluded 
to on page forty-five of the preceding remarks. By 



PREPAKATIONS. 51 

rejecting the alphabetical and classified arrangements, 
and following strictly a numerical one, it overcomes all 
the usual hinderances and delays consequent to the 
old systems, and which furnish all the excuses for the 
absence of printed catalogues in libraries, if they do not 
even prevent their existence. 

No consumption of time and labor is required in the 
preparation of a catalogue of this description. The full 
title cards of the card catalogue furnish all the material 
necessary for printing, and as often as they amount in 
number to one hundred they should be sent to the 
printer, who may electrotype, stereotype or lithotype 
them for future use, or may print them from movable 
types. 

The titles of the printed catalogue differ only from 
those of the card catalogue in the omission of the classes 
to which the books belong, the first mention of the 
author's name which precedes the title, and the shelf 
and book numbers. The accession number should take 
precedence in the title, it being the key number to 
the catalogue, forming the connection between it and 
the index and alcove catalogues. 

The only drawback to this catalogue is the expense 
of printing it ; but this diminishes very much when the 
fact is considered, that, unlike all other catalogues, it has 
to be printed only once, when a proper number of copies 
are struck off at first, as no part of what has been done 
ever becomes useless or out of date, or requires reprinting 
except when copies cannot be otherwise obtained. 



52 DECIMAL SYSTEM EOR LIBRARIES. 

As an offset to the apparent expense of printing, 
which often prevents the production and publishment of 
full title catalogues, may be placed the saving which 
will be made in the following particulars : 1, As the 
catalogue is composed of the full title of each book, 
without any contraction, omission or addition, an exact 
copy only has to be made, and this can be done by any 
person who is competent to read and write; 2. The 
index to it is simply the common short title (or find- 
ing) catalogue, which cannot be said to enter into the 
expense, because it should be had under all circumstan- 
ces; 3. If promptly prepared and printed, it precludes 
the necessity of a card catalogue, with its concomitant 
cross references, and scientific and bibliographical labors ; 
4. Once a year, or oftener, it caii and should appear as 
an appendix to the librarian's report. 

When the titles are in type, they can, with very little 
labor and expense, be stereotyped, or otherwise pre- 
served in separate plates, for the use of other libraries, 
or for aiding in printing a universal library catalogue. 
But whether or not the same types, or stereotype plates 
taken from them, are used for these purposes, the gen- 
eral objects of bibliography are much assisted by the 
accession to the stock of printed knowledge in this 
department of learning. 

As valuable as this catalogue may be for reference, 
it is not absolutely required in a small library where 
there is a good card catalogue. Its chief value lies in 
the fact that it is a multiplication of the full titles of 



PREPARA.TIONS. 53 

the books, in a form that can be in all the public 
libraries, and in the hands of such persons as desire it. 
On account of its bulk it cannot be in the possession of 
all who use the library, and for the purposes of most of 
whom the short title catalogue will be sufficient. 

Index of Donors and Donations. 

Justice, as well as good policy, requires that a book 
should be kept in every library for the record of the 
benefactions which it has received. A repetition of the 
extensive entries required for, and made in, the catalogue 
of accessions would be too onerous for librarians, and 
too bulky for use. A simple index, constructed so as to 
contain the names of the donors, arranged in alphabet- 
ical order, with ample space for the insertion of figures 
indicating the pages of the catalogue of accessions 
where entries are made, will not only su£S.ce for the 
purpose, but will also be as convenient as any other 
plan that can be devised. 

The book in which the index of donors and dona- 
tions is contained, should be of ample dimensions, and 
should also have its pages properly apportioned, like 
an " index rerum," for the different letters of the alpha- 
bet, and the portions for each letter should be still 
farther subdivided, so that entries may be made from 
time to time in strictly alphabetical order. Two letters 
should be printed or written on the folio corner of the 
pages, in the same manner as in dictionaries, for the 



54: DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

purpose of expediting the work of indexing and of ref- 
erence. The book may be prepared with double columns, 
and these columns may be subdivided by red lines for 
the entry of about ten names to each, with three or more 
light blue lines to every name. 

The use of the index is exceedingly simple. Imme- 
diately below the red line on the proper page, should be 
written the surname of the benefactor, with his prasno- 
men in parentheses; and on the same line should be 
noted his place of residence. On the next line should 
be entered the number of the volume of the catalogue 
of accessions, and the pages on which the donations are 
recorded. 

Treatment of Pamphlets. 

No department of the library is deserving of more 
attention of librarians, and generally receives less, than 
that which is devoted to pamphlets, and that kind 
of literature, which, by its neglect rather than by its 
character, has very improperly been designated as 
ephemeral. Much of the reliable history of the day is 
contained in publications of this sort, and a large por- 
tion of what is valuable in relation to past events is 
preserved in the small memorials of other days, that 
have been rescued by the humble pamphleteer, and 
transmitted by his often ridiculed, yet patient and 
untiring endeavors. 

The following description of a plan for the prepara- 
tion of pamphlets for use, which strictly conforms with 



PKEPARATIONS. 55 

the system laid down in the preceding pages, is intro- 
duced here on account of the importance of this too 
frequently neglected subject. 

Pamphlets, as soon as received, should be securely 
tied up in packages of convenient size, those of a 
miscellaneous character in bundles of one hundred each, 
and serial works as nearly by themselves as despatch 
and circumstances will allow. To those from each par- 
ticular source, whether received by donation or otherwise, 
should be attached slips bearing the source and date of 
reception, and a slip number in the manner described 
on the twenty-ninth page ; a memorandum of the receipt 
of those from each source, which may be an exact tran- 
script of the slip, should be entered in the librarian's 
journal. 

After the above preliminary steps have been taken, 
and such others as the peculiar regulations of the library 
may require, the packages of pamphlets should be 
entered in the catalogue of accessions, all from one 
source having one accession number. This, however, 
should not prevent those that will allow it to have an 
independent number. 

Having advanced to this state .of preparation, the 
packages should be placed in the hands of a competent 
person to be assorted and arranged. 

The next step should be to arrange the packages, in 
a room especially appropriated for the purpose, on 
shelves, in the order of the accession number. The 
packages should then, one by one, be untied, and the 



56 DECIMAL SYSTEM EOK LIBKAEIES. 

accession mimber appertaining to each bundle should 
be placed temporarily upon the first page of each 
pamphlet. 

As every library has a special object depending upon 
very various circumstances, so also should the arrange- 
ment of its pamphlets, as well as of its books, be made, 
as nearly as possible, to conform to the same object. In 
a national library, pamphlets appertaining to the nation 
should take precedence ; in a city library those relating 
to or emanating from the city ; in historical, medical, 
law, theological, and other libraries, the prominency of 
the collection should be given to history, medicine, &c. 

After the speciality of the library has been sufficiently 
cared for, the pamphlets should be classified in a few 
very general divisions ; but in this state of the arrange- 
ment minute subdivisions should be carefully avoided, 
as confusion rather than accessibility would be the sure 
result of them. 

When brought into the condition above directed, the 
pamphlets, when there is only one copy of each, should 
be arranged strictly in alphabetical order, the names of 
authors taking precedence in all cases, except where a 
chronological order is imperatively required. Duplicates 
and triplicates may, and should, be arranged and dis- 
tributed alphabetically according to subjects, in the same 
manner as though they were the cross references of the 
card catalogue. Thus it will be perceived that in a well 
arranged collection of pamphlets, several copies of each 
are indispensably necessary, and, when possible, that 



PREPARATIONS. St 

three copies of every pamphlet connected with any series 
should be preserved. In illustration^ suppose several 
popular writers or orators deliver orations in commem- 
oration of any great event; these certainly should be 
arranged under the names of the authors ; and they 
should likewise be arranged undei' their general titles, 
and perhaps under some of the Inore importatit subjects 
which they embrace^ Oratioiis, sueh as those oil Amer- 
ican IndependencCj election sermons, annual addresses 
of the various societies, &c., should be arranged together, 
as well as under the authors' namesj 

Nexi in course should be the placing of the pam- 
phlets in suitable pamphlet bases, &,nd the arranging of 
them upon the shelves of the pamphlet robm; This 
should be done alphabetically by the Classes, keeping 
the speciality by itself; For instance, in a, city library^ 
those appertaining to the city should be by themselves, 
and should be placed alphabetidally by classes, and each 
fclasS alphabetically by paMphlets; and then should 
follow the divisions according to the general arrange- 
tnentj the pamphlets of each division also in alphabetical 
order; 

After the foregoing arra,ngement has been inade, the 
pamphlets should be carefully examined for binding; 
As a genetal rule, every pamphlet which is perfect in 
itself, and of sufficient value, should be bound as ft 
separate book ; those relating to any peculiar subject 
may, for cheapness, be bound together ; and for the same 
reason, and for convenience in reference, those by the 
8 



58 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

same author should be bound together. The binding of 
several pamphlets in one volume requires, in many 
instances, the binding of duplicates, and oftentimes of 
triplicates ; for many authors, especially those who have 
printed their occasional sermons, orations, addresses, 
scientific memoirs, &c., produce so many pamphlets, at 
intervals of time, and on various subjects, that one copy 
must be bound with their works, perhaps another copy 
with a certain set of serials, and oftentimes a third copy 
with a particular class of pamphlets which it may be 
desirable to keep together. 

The deficiencies in each serial work should be noted 
in a memorandum book' kept in the library, and no 
volume of any broken series should be bound perma- 
nently, if it can be made perfect, until it is complete, 
but should be preserved among the pamphlets arranged 
in cases. 

When pamphlets have been bound, before they are 
placed upon the shelves, they should be treated in all 
respects as books, whether they are bound as separate 
works, or whether a volume contains several tracts ; 
namely, they must be entered in the accession catalogue 
and otherwise properly catalogued. In the catalogue of 
accessions each tract or pamphlet,. unless two or more 
belong to the same work, should have a second accession 
number; the smallest of the numbers (following the 
written title) invariably referring to the first entry in the 
accession catalogue, and the largest (in the number 
column) to tjie seppnd entxji which will be the number 



PKEPAEATIONS. 59 

to be used in all of the catalogues. In such cases the 
old number should be distinguished, wherever it occurs, 
from the new one by being included between the char- 
acters called double daggers ( J )• The new accession 
number will be necessary if a full title catalogue should 
be printed in the manner described on the forty-fifth and 
fiftieth pages. 

In each bound volume of pamphlets and tracts there 
should be a manuscript table of contents, with brief 
titles arranged in the order of binding. 

Binding. 

The next subject for consideration in the preparation 
of a library is the binding of the books, pamphlets, 
maps, &c. ; and certainly no one of the librarian's duties 
is more frequently neglected, or more commonly left to 
the judgment of others, than this. 

Strength, durability, comfort in use, uniformity and 
appropriateness are of too great importance in book- 
binding to be slighted, and therefore too much care 
cannot be given by librarians to the details of this 
humble part of their avocations. 

Whether books should be full bound or half bound, 
and of what the material for binding should consist, 
should depend so much upon various circumstances, 
that it will be needless to consider the subject minutely 
in these remarks. Suffice it to say, however, that books 
for public use should always be strongly bound; that 



^0 DECIMAL glSTBM FO?! LIBRAEIBS. 

tlae volumes of serial works, and tfeos© belonging; t% om 
^et, should always be uniform in appearance ; tliat the 
margins should always be left as large ai possible, 
with perhaps the fore edge and foot of books merely 
trimmed ; and that a proper system for baiok titles, wlaeii 
they are used, should be carefully carried out^ Un- 
doubtedly, when cheapness and durability are the chief 
considerations, the style of binding kliown as "half 
binding," and the materials known m •' sheep " and 
" turkey morocco,'^ will give the greatest, satisfaction for 
the majority of books ; whereas very large volumes will 
require a more substantial binding. 

The back title, or the principal title, when more than 
one is used, should, unless there is. a positive reason 
otherwise, contain the surname of the author, and the 
fewest words that will give a sufficiently clear idea of the, 
full title, ol the work. Beneath these words, and sep- 
arated from them by Sk ^aafet li^ only, should \>^ th.e 
name of the editor, translator, &;o.,, if practicable. 

A second back titiO: should contain, the number of the 
series, and the number of the yolume, when these dis^ 
tinctions are iie^ded. 

At the bottom of the back may be another- title, 
^howing^ the plac© of publication, and the date of print- 
ing; and immediately above it the nameof the library 
to which the book belongs,. 

In order to insure a strict compliance with the 
system of titles, a s,chedule> should alwaya be sent, to 
the bookbinder, particularizing how each book showld be 



PKBPARATIOSfg. 



61 



lettered on its, back,, and in what style the binding 
should be performed. Each schedule should be nuni' 
bered and dated vhen sent to the bookbinder, and should 
also have a blank for inserting the date of return to the 
library. The directions given for each work should not 
occupy more than one line, if practicable, and should be 
preceded with a number, (commencing with 1 on each 
schedule,) and should also have at the right hand a spaca 
for the cost of binding.. 

In the following specimen of a title, &c., as entered 
in a schedule, the single marks indicate the lines, and 
the parallel marks the several back titles to be put upon 
Grahame's History of the United States, edited by Mr. 
Quincy, and printed in Philadelphia in X850 : — 



1. Grrahame's | History | of the | U. States. 
Philad: I 1850.11 Half-mor. Red. 



|, Quincy., || t. [ 2. ] 



75 cents. 



In the instance above given, the book would be bound 
in red morocco, at a cost of seventy -five cents for each 
volume, and the titles, when put upon the back of the 
first volume, would appear thus : — 















I-* 


















h-^ 


















° 


6 











Q 



i-S 



o 

g g 
^ w 



A duplicate of the schedule should be retained for 
preservation in the library ; and for this purpose some 
of the l^lanJ^S- should be bound into a volume. 



62 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

Duplicate books for the circulating department, 
which with the decimal system of arrangement require 
only the shelf and book numbers, may be half bound in 
the cheapest durable form with unstained sheep, and 
without back titles; 

The best mode of treating maps and charts is to bind 
all that can be conveniently put into folio volumes, and 
to divide those of a larger size into suitable parts, so 
that they can be backed with linen cloth, and placed 
upon the shelves in properly constructed cases. There 
may be, however, cases where it will be more convenient 
that large maps should be mounted for mural use, and 
also where an arrangement in portfolios may be prefera- 
ble. These cases will suggest themselves to librarians, 
but should not be allowed to occur oftener than is 
absolutely necessary. 

Usually prints are arranged in portfolios ; but when- 
ever it can be accomplished without a violation of order 
and good taste, they should be bound in small lots. 

Newspapers, periodicals and occasional broadsides 
should not be allowed to accumulate without binding, 
but should be suitably bound at the earliest convenience. 

Whatever system of bookbinding may be adopted by 
a library, and however well adapted it may be to gen- 
eral wants, there is very little chance that it can ever 
be carried out satisfactorily, owing chiefly to the great 
irregularity in the mode of binding and lettering which 
every where prevails, and to which libraries must yield 
except at the great expense of rebinding, as a very large 



ADMINISTRATION. 63 

portion of the books that are received by libraries are 
usually in binding which varies much in style, according 
to fashion, and the custom and fancy of bookbinders. 



III. 

Administration of the Library. 

To carry out any object successfully, there should be 
a design adequate to the purpose, and this should be 
uniform and systematic in all its parts, and so devised 
as to be in itself a perfect unit. With the decimal 
system of arrangement described in these pages, and a 
careful observance of the foregoing directions for the 
preparation of the library for use, the administrative 
part of the system is extremely simple, and can be 
accomplished without violating any of the rules of unity 
so desirable in the management of large libraries. 

As the remarks contained in this memoir are intended 
chiefly to refer to large libraries which have both circu- 
lating and reference departments, and also public reading 
rooms, it will be necessary for perspicuity and desirable 
brevity that they should bie divided into four sections: 

1. Those that appertain to all of the departments; 

2. Those that relate to the reading room ; 3. Those that 



64 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

belong more appropriately to the circulating department 
only ; and, 4. Those that are confined to the library of 
reference. Before entering directly upon the considera- 
tion of these, it may not be improper to describe in a 
few words a plan of a building well adapted to the 
purposes of a public library. 

Library Building. 

In the erection of a library building, it is essential 
that proper measures should be taken to guard against 
dampness, and all other injurious influences that may 
in any way be prejudicial to the preservation of books. 
In order to attain this desirable end, the building must, 
as far as practicable, be so constructed that its foun- 
dations and walls shall not transmit any dampness from 
without, or from the soil upon which it is built^ 

The building should be entirely fire proof, not only 
as regards danger from without, but also from any cause 
that may exist within, and should be so constructed that 
the destruction of one part by fire shall not cause the 
ruin of the remainder. For the attainment of this, the 
basement floor should be laid of incombustible materi- 
als on groined arches ; the heating apparatus should be 
confined to apartments beneath this floor ; the other floors 
of the building should be laid of fire proof materials, 
upon arches constructed of bricks between iron beams 
and girders ; the roof, and window frames and shutters, 
should also be of materials which resist the attacks 



ADMINISTRATION. Q5 

of fire. For greater security against fire, and for guard- 
ing against moisture from without, the walls should be 
double, and all the fire flues should be surrounded with 
air chambers, and all other means known to architects 
should be employed in aid of this object. 

The building should be erected for the sole purposes 
of a library, namely, for storing books, and such other 
property as naturally comes within the province of a 
library, for suitably accommodating transient readers 
and students, for the delivery of books to borrowers, and 
for performing all the various details which are insep- 
arably connected with a large arid well-conducted library. 
For answering these purposes, the building should have 
a large and decently finished cellar, a basement story, 
and a principal story. 

The cellar should contain apparatus for heating eveiy 
part of the building, a convenient repository for fuel, 
ample sized rooms for opening and storing boxes, &c., 
suitable apartments for a bookbinding establishment if 
required, rooms that can be fitted for the use of a janitor 
and custodian of the premises, water closets, and the 
usual conveniences. 

The basement story should contain a room for the 
delivery of books, which will answer the purpose of a 
conversation room, and connected with it a room for 
containing duplicates and the volumes which may be 
most frequently needed for current circulation ; a gen- 
eral reading room, with tables an^ stands for periodicals ; 
a smaller reading room which may be used exclusively 
9 



66 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOB LIBKARIES. 

by fejnalee; and a small room for the librarian and 
managers of the library. In an entresol connected with 
this story there should be a number of small rooms 
for students, small rooms for unbound pamphlets, news- 
papers, duplicates not in use, and for the work which 
must be performed by the librarian and his assistants in 
preparing the books, &c., for use. 

As many of the doors connected with the reading 
rooms and other rooms in the basement should open into 
the room for the delivery of books as can be made so to 
do, and the minor rooms of the establishment should be 
accessible only through the same room, so that no person 
can pass in or out without the knowledge of one of the 
employees of the library. 

The rooms in the basement should be properly 
furnished with suitable accommodations and conven- 
iences for readers and such persons as may be waiting 
for books. 

The ][mnc{pal story should consist of a spacious hall 
for the arrangement of the library, with a capacity for 
containing the desired number of volumes. It should 
be so constructed as to allow of expedition in the 
administration of the library, and every thing about or 
in connection with it should be perfectly centralized. 

This hall should be well lighted at the ends by 
capacious windows, and also from the roof above, and 
from such small windows on the sides as shall not 
interfere in the arrangement of the books. The alcoves 
and shelves should be strictly in accordance with the 



ADMINISTRATION, 67 

directions laid down in the preceding pages, so that the 
decimal system may be perfectly carried into effect. 

The alcoves should be closed by suitable fences from 
the public who may occupy the area of the hall ; and 
they should be so connected with each other by open 
doors as to give the assistants of the librarian free scope 
throughout the whole range of the hall. 

The shelves throughout the whole library should be 
such as before described, and should be made entirely 
of wood, and for various reasons, no cast metal should 
be used in their construction. 

If needed for use, the hall should contain one or more 
galleries, accessible at convenient places by means of 
suitable stairs. 

This grand hall should be approached from below by 
a great staircase, which should proceed, if possible, from 
the hall for the delivery of books ; otherwise, from the 
entrance hall of the building. 

In this hall there should be ample accommodations 
for the delivery of books to readers only, and also 
proper tables and seats for the use of readers and other 
visitors. 

The building should be lighted at night, if practi- 
cable, by gas lights, and in no case should the brackets 
attached to the walls or columns be allowed to swing 
or move. Upright burners may be capable of being 
raised or depressed. 

The most thorough ventilation that can be attained, 
and the best mode of heating, are essential not only to 



68 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBKARIBS. 

the healtli and comfort of those who use the library, but 
also for the preservation of the books and other property. 

Of the Library in general. 

In order that a library may be public in the true 
sense of the word, it should not only contain such books 
and other appurtenances as are of a public character, 
but*should also be open at all proper times to all persons 
who possess good character, and are so orderly in their 
condition and demeanor as not to interfere with the 
pursuits and comforts of others who resort to it. 
Especially should the visits of the young be encouraged ; 
for in youth the disposition to read is most easily culti- 
vated and directed, and oftentimes exists with so great 
desire that unless free access can be had to good books, 
those of an improper character will be obtained in lieu 
of them. 

However freely a library may be opened to a commu- 
nity, it can hardly be considered free and public in regard 
to circulation, unless a sufficiently large number of copies 
of the standard and popular works, and of those newly 
issued from the press, are procured for home use. When 
the demand for any of the above works of which there 
are many copies in the library becomes lessened to such 
a degree that several copies are constantly on hand, a 
portion of them may be distributed throughout the city 
or town where the library is situated, in order to form 
district libraries which shall be subservient to the gen-r 



ADMINISTRATION. 69 

eral library, and which may from time to time be 
established either for the accommodation of visiting 
readers or for the circulation of books for home use. 

In some cases it may, however, be advantageous to 
sell or exchange a portion of the extra undemanded 
copies of works. When this is done, the volumes parted 
with should invariably be stamped with the words " sale 
duplicate," and the alcove catalogues made to exhibit 
the fact, and a proper memorandum of the transaction 
noted in the librarian's journal. 

As the chief object of a public library is to supply 
those who use it with such books as they may desire, 
the librarian should have constantly at hand blank 
requests prepared for the purpose, on which any person 
who has a right to use the library may enter the title of 
any book known not to be in the library, and which is 
wanted for use, or is considered a desirable acquisition ; 
and this should be accompanied with the name and 
residence of the person making the request. These 
requests should, as soon as convenient, be entered in a 
book containing the titles and particulars of hooks asked 
for, and when ordered, the fact should be noted and the 
proper entry made in the book specially kept for hooks 
ordered. This last book should be prepared for alpha- 
betical entries, and should contain the date of order, 
title of book, and name of person or agent of whom 
ordered, and a column to indicate if, and when, the book 
is received, in order to give information necessary to 
facilitate the purchase of books. 



70 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBRARIES. 

All persons who wish to avail themselves of the 
privileges of the library, should subscribe their names 
to the signature book, kept in the hall for the delivery of 
books, whereby they promise to observe all the existing 
rules and regulations of the library, and all that may 
be subsequently prescribed by due authority. The book 
for the signatures of persons using the library should 
have the words of the promise printed distinctly on the 
upper part of each page, and the pages should be ruled 
and crossruled with suitable columns for the following 
particulars : 1. Number, which should be progressive ; 
2. Bate; 3. Name; 4. Residence; and,, 5. Number of 
account, referring to the subscriber's account in tiie 
loan. book. 

The names of the persons using the library should 
be copied alphabetically into a book having similar 
printed heads and columns, excepting those for the 
words of the promise, and the date of signing. The 
pages of. this book should be specially arranged for 
alphabetical entries, by having letters printed on the 
folio corners, in the manner described on the fifty-third 
page for the index of donors. It will be readily per- 
ceived that the principal object of this book is to serve 
as an index to the loan book, and also as a dvrector^ of 
those using the library; and therefore persons changing 
their place of residence should invariably be required to 
give notice of the same to the librarian, who also should 
make note of the change in the book containing the 
names in alphabetical order, and in the loan book. 



ADMINISTRATION. 71 

In the case of minors, certificates should always be 
given by their parents or guardians, in a form to be 
furnished by the librarian, setting forth that they are 
persons who ought to enjoy the privileges of the library, 
and for whose conduct while there, and for whose obser- 
vance of the rules of the library, they become responsible, 
and that they will make good any injury or loss the 
library may sustain from the permission that may be 
given in consequence of the certificates. On the receipt 
of any such certificate, it should have the signature 
number of the applicant written upon it, and then 
placed upon file. If the applicant should desire all the 
privileges of the library, a note must be made against 
the account in the loan book, stating that the person is 
a minor, and the signature number, which will indicate 
that a certificate is on file. ;x ,-, 

It may sometimes happen that a minor, or apparently 
irresponsible person, may apply for the privileges of the 
library; in which casera deposit of a small amount of 
money should be reguired, as a pledge for the safety of 
any property used| for which a receipt should be given 
by the librarian,jjathd this deposit should be repaid on the 
delivery of theJCfeceipt, after deducting any amount in- 
curred for fine^ unreasonable damage, or other dues ; but 
the receipt should not prevent an increase of the amount 
of deposit whenever, on account of the value of the prop- 
erty, the librarian may deem further security necessary. 
This mode of security by means of a temporary deposit 
should not be resorted to more frequently than is abso- 



72 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBRARIES. 

liitely necessary for the safety of the property and an 
observance of the rules. 

In order to extend the civilities and courtesies of the 
library to strangers of distinction, and to scholars who 
have no special claim upon it, permission should be 
granted for them to use the library for a limited period 
on the recommendation of a responsible person ; and 
for this purpose a strangers^ hook should be kept, in 
which the visitor and the person by whom the introduc- 
tion is made should sign their names and places of 
residence, together with the date of the granting of the 
privilege. To such persons the reading room and ref^ 
erence department should be freely opened, and every 
facility which the library affords should be granted to all 
persons engaged in literary and scientific investigations. 

For the greater facility in the administration of the 
library, and for the more speedy despatch in finding 
books, and charging them in the loan book to borrowers, 
all books must be called for by their numbers, which 
may at any time be ascertained from the printed and 
interleaved index (or short title) catalogues, which should 
always be found in sufficient number on the tables in the 
reading rooms, and in the hall for the delivery of books. 
The card catalogue, which should always be under the 
immediate charge of the librarian and his assistants, 
should at any time be consulted for special purposes, 
but never otherwise than through them. 

Every person entitled to use in the reading room the 
books of the library, and to borrow them for home use, 



ADMINISTRATION. 



73 



and desirous so to do, sTiould receive from the librarian 
two printed cards similar to the following in form, that 
for the reading room being of a reddish color, and that 
for borrowing being white. These cards should contain 
the name and place of residence of the person to whom 
they are given, and the white one for borrowing books 
should also have written upon it in distinct figures the 
number of the person's account in the loan book. 



SHELF. 


NO. 


VOL. 


SHELF. 


NO. 


VOL. 



























































































































On these the book asked for should be designated in 
the blanks left for the purpose by the number of the 
shelf on which it stands, the number of the book itself 
on the shelf, and if it be a part of a set, then the par- 
ticular volume; all which numbers may be easily 
ascertained from the printed copies of the short title 
and interleaved catalogues, which should always be 
accessible in the various rooms of the library ; and this 
card, which must be presented to the librarian as the 
only mode of obtaining any book that may be asked for, 
10 



14: DECIMAL SYSTEM FOE LIBKAEIES. 

should be returned to its owner at Oncfe if the book can- 
not be found 5 or, if foulid, then as sooii as it is duly 
changed on the borrower's account in the loan book if for^ 
home lise, or returned if used only in the readifig room. 

No persoil not in the employ of the officers of the 
library should be allowed to remove atny of the book^ 
from their placies on the shelves without special permis- 
sion ; but a sufficient number of assistants should bel 
at all times in attendance, to prevent delay in answering 
proper demands. 

A proper code of by-laws, containing appropriate 
and necessary rules and regulations for the administra- 
tion of the different departments^ should be adopted by 
every library, and printed copies thereof should be freely 
distributed for extensive promulgation. The exaction 
of a small fine will insure a watchful observance of, and 
punctual compliance with, such rules as it may be expe- 
dient to establish for the administration of the library, 
and will also in a considerable measure make up the loss 
which the library may sustain from the wear and injury 
occurring from the use of the books. 

The directors of the library should keep records of 
their meetings, in which should appear all transactions 
connected with the history of the institution, or that 
will in any way be useful for future reference* They 
should also keep a file of all papers relating to the 
library, and letter books for copies of correspondence. 

At some convenient season of the year, the library, 
with the exception of the reading room, should be closed 



ADMINISTRATION. 75 

a short time for the necessary preparation of the same 
incidental to the annual examination. 

A careful visitation of every department of the libraiy 
should be made, at least once a year, by a disinterested 
■committee appointed for the purpose, who should report 
^o the directors the general condition of the same. The 
librarian should assist in the examination made at the 
visitation, and in a report, which ji should be his duty 
,to make to the directors, the details should be given, 
-together with such other information as may be of gen- 
eral interest. Appended to this report may be given 
the titles of the books added to the library during the 
year, which may be printed by their full titles in the 
order of accession, as suggested on the forty-fifth and 
fifty-second pages of the preceding remarks, in a form 
convenient for preservation, and in a manner that they 
may appear continuously from year to year, -or oftener. 

Of the 'Reading Room. 

This department of the library should be conveniently 
fitted up with suitable tables for books and periodicals, 
and stands for the large magazines and newspapers. 
The necessary implements for writing should be con- 
stantly at hand, ink, however, never being allowed where 
it may do any injury to the books or other property 
appertaining to the library. 

In the reading rooms, all books belonging to the 
library should, at the discretion of the librarian, .be 



76 DECIMAL SYSTEM FOR LIBEAKIES. 

used ; and the librarian should be required to exercise 
in this respect discretionary power, especially in the 
case of minors. 

The various magazines should be arranged on the 
tables in order, every one having a different number, and 
this number should be put upon the boob, and also upon 
its place on the case or slanting shelf whereon it is 
usually to be found ; and the list of periodicals, which 
should be printed at the end of the index catalogue, 
should contain against each title this reading room num- 
ber. The object of this number is, that the periodicals, 
&c., may be returned to their place after use; and 
therefore all persons who visit the reading rooms can, as 
they should be required to do, return each of the pam- 
phlets and periodicals to its proper place. 

To obtain the privileges of the reading room, it 
should be necessary for persons merely to enter their 
names and places of residence in the book for signa- 
tures, on doing which they should be furnished with 
red cards similar to the one described on the seventy- 
third page. 

It will not be necessary to charge in the loan book 
the books that are delivered to be used in the reading 
room, as the red card, known as the reading room card, 
which must be presented to the librarian whenever a 
book is asked for for this purpose, will be retained by 
him so long as its owner retains the book ; but no book, 
so received, should, for any reason whatever, be removed 
from the reading room by the person receiving it. 



ADMINISTKATION. 77 

The alphabetical list of the names and residences of 
persons who have permission to use the reading room 
should be kept accessible to all persons by the librarian. 

Of the Circulating Department. 

The use of this department of the library should be 
freely granted to persons who are known to the officers 
of the library to be such as should enjoy its privileges, 
and to those who by proper vouchers are duly certified 
to be such by any responsible persons, who will thus be 
made liable for any loss the library may sustain in con- 
sequence ; — which vouchers should be cancelled at any 
time, provided no liability is resting on them, at the 
written request of the persons who gave them. The 
books appertaining to this department which are most 
frequently asked for should be arranged in a part of 
the building by themselves, as mentioned on the sixty- 
fifth page, in the description of the library building. 

Books for home use should be obtained in the same 
manner as those for use in the reading room, except that 
in this case a white card, known as the borrowing card, 
should be employed instead of the red one. This card, 
on which the book is designated by its number, should 
be presented, together with the book to be returned, if 
the borrower has one, to the librarian, who should cancel 
the charge and procure the book asked for at once, and 
charge it in the borrower's account in the loan book ; or 
if the book is not to be found on the shelves, it being 



ir8 DECIMAL SYSTEM TOE, LIBEARIES. 

already lent, ttie card should without delay be returned 
to its owner for another attempt 

In all instances extra copies of any oaie work are tp 
be asked for by the same number, which should invari- 
ably be found in the short title catalogue. 

'No person should, as a general rule, be allowed more 
than a limited number of volumes at a time, nor should 
any book be kept by the person borrowing it many 
days ; provided, always, that any book may be renewed 
once to the same person, but not more than once, until 
it shall have been returned to the library, and shall have 
remained there at le£ust one Ml library day. 

All injuries to books ibeyond a reasonable wear, and 
all losses, should be made good by the persons liable ; 
every book detained above a certain time being regarded 
as lost. 

The loan book, for ^convenience and despatch, should 
be strictly on a decimal plan. On each page of it there 
should be five accounts, making ten on the two pageg 
which will present themselves at one opening of the 
book. The pages should be numbered on the folio 
corners, in the same manner as in legers, namely, one 
number progressively for the two pages of each opening ; 
and the ten accounts of each opening should bje num- 
bered 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the left hand page, and .5, 6, 
7, 8 and 9 on the right hand page. JBy this plan much 
time is saved in finding the accounts, as will be readily 
perceived by the following description of its use. If the 
librarian desires to find , the account bearing the number 



ADMINISTMTION. 79 

8653, h© will at onm turn to the 365tli opening desig- 
Hated by the folio figures, and on the left hand page 
he will find that the account numbered 3 is the one 
degired* 

Each account, besides the number, should have heads 
for the name and residence, and also a blank space for 
referring to the signature book in case of minors, &c. 
The several accounts should be ruled and crossruled, 
and have printed heads over columns for the following 
particulars : 1. Date ; 2. Shelf number ; 3. Book num- 
ber ; 4. Volume number ; 5. Check marks, when a book 
is returned; and, 6. Amount of fine incurred. Three 
series of columns of ten lines can be given to each 
account in a book of convenient size for use. 

The charges in the loan book should be mside with a 
lead pencil, and when the account is full in the three 
sets of columns, those on the first should be removed so 
that the columns may again be used. 

For convenience in the administration of the library, 
there should be several loan books in use at the same 
time at different parts of the librarian's counter, or desk. 
Each of these should be appropriated to a certain por- 
tion of the alphabet, and borrowers should be instructed 
at which station or desk they should present their cards 
for books. 

At stated intervals the loan book should be examined 
for delinquencies, and these, when ascertained, should 
be entered on a sheet for reference, and from which they 
should be cancelled as soon as the books are returned. 



80 DECIMAL. SYSTEM FOE LIBKARIES. 

When all of the accounts in each, of, the loan books 
are appropriated, supplementary books should be put in 
use ; and when from use it becomes necessary to renew 
the loan books, all dead accounts should be closed and 
their places given to others. If a person's number 
should be changed, the fact must be noted in the alpha- 
betical directory and also in the signature book. 

Of the Library of Reference. 

The books belonging to this department should be 
kept in the general library room, and should be distin- 
guished from those for general circulation merely by a 
star ( * ) in the index catalogue and ,on the back of the 
book in connection with the shelf number. Most of the 
remarks upon the reading room apply equally well to 
this department. 

The only important feature of the department which 
requires to be spoken of is, that small rooms in some 
convenient part of the library should be assigned for the 
use of scholars or persons making investigations which 
require for a limited time the constant use of many vol- 
umes at the same time. Privileges of the above kind 
should be granted to trustworthy persons, and lists of 
the books in use should be kept with the red cards, so 
that in pressing cases the books may be had for other 
persons. 













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